The main reason people get mesothelioma is by the inhalation of asbestos. Finding the right Mesothelioma Treatment is a must. However, there are other effects to be concerned about.
For instance, asbestosis is the formation of scar tissue or fibrosis of the lung due to exposure and lung cancer is a carcinoma that develops in the lung tissue. Mesothelioma is very different from these. It should not be confused with lung carcinoma or asbestosis.
Mesothelioma is difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are similar to other more common disorders, such as:
- Certain types of colds
- Seasonal allergies
The doctor, after having examined the complete medical file of the patient, may order other tests if he or she feels mesothelioma is a possibility. The best way to diagnose a case of mesothelioma is to perform additional tests, for example:
- A chest X-ray. In case of mesothelioma, the X-ray shows a thickening of the mesothelium in the lower (basal) region of the lung. In the advanced phases, the thickening reaches the upper regions of the lung. Pleural effusion is often seen.
- A CT scan is useful for assessing the spread of the disease.
- An MRI may be helpful in understanding the severity of mesothelioma.
- PET scans are used for determining the stage of mesothelioma.
Biopsy and laboratory examinations
Another way to confirm mesothelioma is to take a tissue sample for biopsy. The biopsy can include a laparoscopic thoracoscopy or a peritonoscopy. In case of early diagnosis and if the mesothelioma can still be treated, the surgeon will try to remove the tumor.
Surgery can help reduce the problems caused by mesothelioma. Surgical solutions can be used to reduce fluid accumulation, among other things. Pleural mesothelioma can cause fluid accumulation (known as a pleural effusion) and cause breathing difficulties.
The surgeon may remove tissue from around the abdomen or lungs (pleurectomy). He or she removes the parietal and visceral pleura, something that can be performed only in 10 to 15% of patients. The doctor could also perform surgery to remove most of the tumor (cytoreduction).
Lastly, a surgical procedure to remove the lung and its surrounding tissue may be needed. Removal of the diseased lung and surrounding tissue can relieve the signs of pleural mesothelioma.